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Sotheby’s Accepts Cryptocurrencies at the Auction of a 101-Carat Diamond

Sotheby’s, the British diamond auction house with more than 270 years of foundation, will auction an exceptional and rare diamond of 101 carats using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

Next July 9, British auction house Sotheby’s will hold the auction of one of the rarest and most exceptional diamonds in existence in the world and will accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

The 277-year-old auction house reported via Twitter that the diamond to be auctioned is “The Key 10138”, classified as a Type IIa diamond, with 101.38 carats, high purity, flawless pear-shaped design and exceptional optical transparency. The auction will be held at its headquarters in Hong Kong, with an estimated price between $10 million and $15 million.

With each passing day, Sotheby’s becomes more and more convinced of the importance and value of cryptocurrencies and digital assets in the world. This is the second time that a physical object unrelated to the crypto industry has been auctioned at Sotheby’s using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The first auction was held with the physical artwork “Love Is in the Air” by anonymous artist Banksy, which sold for nearly $13 million worth of cryptocurrencies in mid-May. 

Diamonds with bitcoins and ethers.

The auction house announced that “The Key 10138” diamond will be available for purchase using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), the industry’s two largest digital assets by demand and capitalization. In addition to these two innovative options, collectors and investors will also be able to use traditional means such as fiat money to bid in the auction.

Sotheby’s reported that this is the first time an extremely high-value object such as “The Key 10138” diamond has been auctioned using cryptocurrencies, marking an important milestone for both history and for Bitcoin and digital assets.

Auction houses and cryptocurrencies

This auction house and rival Christie’s have been competing in the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain for some time. Both houses have bid entire collections and individual cryptocurrency collectibles such as non-fungible tokens (NFT), which have sold for several million dollars. In this regard, Christie’s leads the way with the NFT collection put together by crypto-artist Beeple, “Everydays: the First 5000 Days,” sold for nearly $70 million in March.

However, Sotheby’s also has significant inroads in the crypto world and has beaten Christie’s to the punch on several occasions. This auction house delved not only into auctioning NFTs, but also launched the world’s first smart NFT (iNFT) and opened new art gallery in the digital universe of Dencentraland, specifically, in the Voltaire Art District. This gallery is a replica of its London art gallery and features an avatar of Hans Lomulder, the auction house’s London commissioner, who is in charge of welcoming artists, collectors and viewers visiting the new venue.

Sotheby’s believes in the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain as new technologies that are revolutionizing art. In the case of Decentraland, one of the industry’s most important blockchain-powered metaverses, Sotheby’s believes it will become “the next frontier for digital art”; a space without boundaries or barriers where artists, collectors and viewers can meet, show their art and interact with each other from anywhere in the world.

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Written by Piyush GRCG


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